Training Questions & Answers:
Can you afford (or not afford) to have a horse in your life?
As of the Spring of 2009 the cost of owning a horse can be done for around $350 a month. Sometimes it will be less, sometimes more. This assumes you need to board your horse. The first year is the most expensive when one purchases equipment to use with their new friend but after that most of the money goes to just having your horse survive and be happy.
Here is a basic breakdown of what one may spend in a year not including tack for tack is too variable in what you may need as compared to what you want and I'll address that later.
Which totals $4145 a year or $345 a month. If you are wanting to competitively show or want to travel a lot with your horse then there are additional expenses.
Tack wise if one is just wanting to have basic fun with their horse and one is physically fit you can get by with a halter, lead rope, reins, and a bareback pad and a training stick. All of which you can get for around a total of $500. If you plan on doing upper level tasks or trail ride for more than 3 hours at a time then a bit, bridle, saddle pad, and saddle will be needed. We recommend good quality saddles with a Wade tree that fit the horse well and don't cause discomfort. If you want a leather one you will be looking at starting prices new of $2200 and will last 20 to 30 years or more. Saddle pads also need to be of exceptional quality otherwise they'll wear out in a year and cause discomfort to your horse. Starting prices for the good ones are around $150 to $300.
We recommend that one should set aside at least 10% of your annual horse budget towards education for you. This way you can continue to improve both your skills and your horses.
We want you to be clear on the expenses needed to have a horse. If you have dogs and cats you know that their expenses can add up too but the love and enjoyment a living thing brings far outweigh the material costs let alone the life lessons in patience and responsibility. Besides if one follows all the precautions and rules that other hobbies like skiing, hang gliding, climbing, repelling, or owning motor vehicles like boats, atv's, motorcycles, planes, etc require (fuel, maintenance, insurance) you'll realize that those can cost just as much or more as owning a horse.
One last thing. We can help you with the dream of having a horse. One can not put into words the euphoria one gets when you are with a horse. The best we can do is show you the path. It will be up to you to decide to follow it.